Forget the Players, NHL Schedule Maker Needs a Helmet!

Mark RitterSenior Writer INovember 10, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 29:  Referee Brad Meier #34 wears a Hockey Fights Cancer sticker on his helmet during the game between of the Washington Capitals the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on October 29, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter

No doubt about it, after studying the NHL’s 2009-10 regular season schedule, one can come to only one conclusion, the guy that made it up needs a helmet, and it’s not to protect himself from wayward pucks!

Trying to come up with a balanced schedule in an Olympic year has to be tough. Essentially, the NHL's regular season is shortened by two full weeks, thus, the obvious thing to do is to make the regular season schedule more compact in order to facilitate all 82 games without the playoffs running through August, and September.

Well, I am here to tell ya, the guy that made up the schedule doesn’t know the meaning of the word compact. In fact, when you look at the schedule, there is plenty of evidence that the schedule maker did the polar opposite, which may very well cost an NHL team, or two, a playoff spot.

Case in point, let’s take a look at the Philadelphia Flyers' early schedule. The Flyers played five games in 10 nights to start the 2009-10 season. What followed was a complete joke, as the Flyers then played a total of two games in 13 nights; what’s up with that?

If you think October was bad, November is the polar opposite and, depending on how you look at it, worse. The Flyers will play eight games in 14 nights in November, leading to the obvious question, “Couldn’t you have squeezed in a game, or three during that two games in 13 nights stretch???"

December? The Flyers will play a total of 15 games in 28 nights. March? 16 games in 27 nights....once again, could you not have had the Flyers take care of a few of these matches in October???

I am sure the Flyers enjoyed their time off. I read earlier in the year that they had time to do a little fishing and team bonding, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. That said, this was not the season to essentially be giving teams two weeks off, not when the regular season will be shut down for two weeks.

There are plenty of other examples of poor scheduling, only this time the schedule maker has taken a compact schedule to the extreme. Case in point, the Edmonton Oilers playing seven games in 13 nights in October. And, if that wasn't enough, the Oilers also play on the 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th, and 31st of December—Merry Christmas!

In a world where seemingly everyone has a laptop, and computers can create complex programs to run power grids and city streets, you’d think the NHL and its schedule makers could make a schedule that made sense, wouldn’t you?

The regular season schedule serves as an embarrassment for the NHL, and they should be ashamed for approving it. Olympics or no Olympics, there are no excuses for the poor scheduling, I mean geez...With all due respect, ”Corkey” and Helen Keller could have done a better job!

I say Corkey and Helen are out! Next year? Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles get a shot, they couldn’t be any worse, could they???

Until next time,

Peace!

***Article is intended to be funny and not to offend. If I offended anyone, sorry in advance...Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are tremendous human beings, and I am sure Corkey and Helen Keller are/were as well.....

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